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Wednesday 14 April 2010

ShelterBox responds to earthquake in Western China
ShelterBox responds to earthquake in Western China
The earthquake struck the remote Qinghai province. Image: USGS

ShelterBox is responding to a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that has rocked Western China.

The earthquake struck the remote and mountainous Qinghai province near Tibet, one of China's poorest regions, killing at least 400 people and injuring 10,000. A series of aftershocks collapsed houses, schools and offices in the ethnic Tibetan county of Yushu, leaving survivors without shelter in freezing conditions.

The charity will be working to assess the areas of greatest need and has already mobilised one of its China based ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members.

Lasse Petersen, ShelterBox General Manager, said: ‘The local officials are already saying the biggest problem they’re facing is lack of tents. The situation of several villages higher up in the mountains is still unknown, and roads and communications have been cut.

'Reports suggest there’s widespread destruction and we are liaising with our personnel in China to assess the need.’

The quake, which struck at 2349 GMT (0749 local time), was centred 150 miles north of Qamdo in Tibet and 235 miles south of the mining town of Golmud in Qinghai, and had a depth of 6.2 miles according to the United States Geological Service.

ShelterBox previously responded to a magnitude 7.9 quake in May 2008 in neighbouring Sichuan province.

At that time ShelterBox provided emergency shelter for an estimated 45,000 people after the earthquake devastated a huge area of South Western China and left millions homeless.

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